Thy will be done#7. “Faith working through love.”

Thy will be done#7. “Faith working through love.”

The church will never lack “those who don’t fit in.” Jesus swung the door wide open to the penitents who reside beyond the “righteous.” Jesus told the self-righteous, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you. (Mt.21:31)

It is obvious to all that not everyone in church is from the fringes of society. Our congregations generally have a fair representation of the talented and resourceful. In fact, being by nature a place of nurture, we are very good at raising successful people.

But no matter what our place on the success scale of life, it is vital to heed Jesus’ warnings about the place of “the least among you” (Mt.25). It is the specified job of the talented and resourceful to make sure that the church is a place where the least amongst us feel at home.

Where this works, it is a most beautiful and blessed place to worship. Where it doesn’t, it is toxic.

What turns a church into a place where brethren are made to feel less because they, in the minds of some, can’t contribute more? The key to this, and many similar problems, is the skewed view of God’s will that is common when law replaces grace as our ultimate motivator.

Doing the will of God out of slavish obedience will turn the staunchest of us into “clip-board Christians.” When a Christian views God’s will in terms of ‘performance outcomes’ they can’t help but lose the point. They will either become masters or martyrs. Masters driving the saints through misplaced duty, or martyrs driving themselves through tortured guilt.

The will of God is done by “faith working through love” (Gal.5:6).

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me’ (Mt.25:34-36).

John Staiger


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